Planning Board Approves Plan for Elm Street Market

Though it wasn’t exactly what was asked for at the July meeting, the Everett Planning Board still approved by a 5-0 vote a plan to expand and build on top of the Elm Street Market – 178-180 Elm St.

After being sent back to the drawing board at the July meeting for their lack of conformity with the City’s Design Guidelines – particularly the use of brick – the owners of the market returned with a plan that added brick but not in the way some on the Board had hoped.

The proposal looks to add three stories on top of the one-story market and to build-out eight units of rental housing. The market would be updated and kept on the first floor.

Architect Phil Kritikos, of Everett, and Attorney Paul DeLorey showed a plan that contained a good deal of brick on the first floor that wrapped around the sides and covered nearly 20 percent of the entire surface area – a standard required by the Design Guidelines.

“This represents 19.96 percent of the overall coverage,” said DeLorey. “Hopefully we’ve achieved the look that you want on this building…We have clearly defined the retail with it and are consistent with the neighborhood having first-floor brick.”

Board member Leo Pizzano said it wasn’t what he was looking for at all – saying he advocated putting brick on the front all the way up four stories.

“I stressed it quite a lot and we went over it and I get this presentation and am quite surprised by what I see,” he said.

“I believe the reason you’re doing it is economics,” he continued. “It’s economical to put brick on the first floor then to put brick up four stories. We hoped this building would set a precedent for how things would look – that would look better than the existing neighborhood.”

DeLorey and Kritikos said it was a financial decision, as putting the weight of four stories of bricks would require much more engineering on the existing, one-story cement block building.

“It is an extra cost to bring that brick up higher,” said DeLorey.

Kritikos said it would require putting structural steel on the first floor, a much greater cost than is currently proposed.

Pizzano reluctantly agreed.

The Site Plan Review was approved 5-0.

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